Dasara Navaratri 2018: Celebrating the Triumph of Good over Evil
Dasara Navaratri, also known as Durga Puja, is a significant Hindu festival celebrated with great enthusiasm and devotion in India. This year, Dasara Navaratri will be observed from October 10th to October 18th, 2018. The festival spans nine nights and is dedicated to the worship of Goddess Durga and her various forms. It is a time when people come together to celebrate the triumph of good over evil, seek blessings, and indulge in cultural festivities.
The Significance of Dasara Navaratri:
Dasara Navaratri holds immense religious and cultural significance for Hindus across the country. The festival marks the victory of Goddess Durga over the buffalo demon Mahishasura, symbolizing the triumph of good over evil. Each day of Navaratri is dedicated to a different form of the goddess, with the final day known as Vijayadashami, which signifies the triumph of Lord Rama over the demon king Ravana.
During these nine nights, devotees engage in various rituals and prayers to seek blessings from the goddess. They observe fasts, visit temples, and participate in religious ceremonies. It is believed that by worshipping the goddess during Navaratri, one can attain spiritual enlightenment and divine grace.
The Rituals and Customs:
Navaratri is a time of vibrant celebrations and cultural festivities. One of the most prominent customs is the decoration of homes and temples with colorful flowers and lights. People create intricate rangoli designs at their doorsteps to welcome the goddess and seek her blessings.
Another significant aspect of Navaratri is the Garba and Dandiya Raas dance forms. These energetic folk dances are performed in groups, with people dressed in traditional attire, dancing to rhythmic beats. The Garba dance involves circular movements, while Dandiya Raas incorporates the use of sticks. These dances not only showcase the rich cultural heritage of India but also foster a sense of unity and joy among participants.
Navaratri is celebrated with unique regional flavors across India. In the state of Gujarat, the festival is synonymous with the grand Navratri festival held in Ahmedabad. The city comes alive with music, dance, and elaborate decorations. The Garba dance is performed in large groups, and renowned artists entertain the crowds with their mesmerizing performances.
In West Bengal, Navaratri coincides with the Durga Puja festival. Elaborate pandals (temporary structures) are constructed to house beautifully crafted idols of Goddess Durga. People visit these pandals to offer prayers and witness the artistic splendor. The festival culminates with the immersion of the idols in rivers or water bodies, symbolizing the departure of the goddess.
The Significance of Vijayadashami:
The final day of Navaratri, Vijayadashami, holds great importance in Hindu mythology. It is believed that Lord Rama defeated the demon king Ravana on this day, marking the victory of good over evil. In some parts of India, this day is celebrated by organizing processions and reenactments of Lord Rama’s victory. Effigies of Ravana are burnt to symbolize the destruction of evil forces.
Dasara Navaratri is a time of immense joy, devotion, and cultural celebrations. It brings people together, irrespective of their caste or creed, to celebrate the triumph of good over evil. The festival not only holds religious significance but also showcases the rich cultural heritage of India. As we prepare to celebrate Dasara Navaratri 2018, let us embrace the spirit of unity and seek blessings from the divine goddess to overcome the challenges in our lives.